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  • Writer's pictureRonny Duncan Studios

Back to the Future (1985) Revisit

Original Episode: #16 Back to the Future (released June 2, 2020)

New Episode: #74 Back to the Future Revisit (released July 21, 2021)

Plot Summary: In 1985, Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) is a teenager living with his meek father, George (Crispin Glover) and his depressed strict mother, Lorraine (Lea Thompson). He is friends and the working assistant for Dr. Emmett "Doc" Brown (Christopher Lloyd). When Doc Brown shows Marty that he has invented a time machine, events spin out of control as Marty finds himself in 1955 dealing with his teenage parents and his father's tormentor, Biff (Thomas F. Wilson). He must figure out how to get back to the future without disrupting the time-continuum.


Cast:

Recognition:

  • Nominated for Best Original Screenplay, Original Song (Power of Love), and Sound Mixing

  • Won for Best Sound Effects

  • AFI's 10th Best Sci-Fi Movie

  • It was inducted into the National Film Registry in 2007

Did You Know?:

  • The rights to the film and its sequels are owned by Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale. In a 2015 interview, Zemeckis maintained that no reboot or remake of the film would be authorized during his or Gale's lifetime.

  • The inspiration for the film largely stems from Bob Gale discovering his father's high school yearbook and wondering whether he would have been friends with his father as a teenager. Gale also said that if he had the chance to go back in time, he would really go back and see if they would have been friends.

  • Michael J. Fox had always been the first choice for Marty, but he was unavailable due to scheduling conflicts with his work on Family Ties (1982). As "Family Ties" co-star Meredith Baxter was pregnant at the time, Fox was carrying a lot more of the show than usual. The show's producer Gary David Goldberg simply couldn't afford to let Fox go. Zemeckis and Gale then cast Eric Stoltz as Marty based on his performance in Mask (1985). After six weeks of filming, Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale felt that Stoltz wasn't right for the part, and Stoltz agreed. By this stage, Baxter was back fully on the show and Goldberg agreed to let Fox go off to make the film. Fox worked out a schedule to fulfill his commitment to both projects. Every day during production, he drove straight to the movie set after taping of the show was finished, and averaged about five hours of sleep. The bulk of the production was filmed from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m., with the daylight scenes filmed on weekends. Reshooting Stoltz's scenes added $3 million to the budget.

  • In 2010, during a cast reunion, Michael J. Fox said that strangers still call him "McFly!" constantly. Fox said that the most remarkable instance was when he was in a remote jungle in the South Asian country Bhutan, located between China and India in the eastern Himalayas. A group of Buddhist monks passed him and one of them looked at Fox and said, "Marty McFly!"

  • Writers Bob Gale and Robert Zemeckis actually received a fan letter from John DeLorean after the film's release, thanking them for immortalizing his car.

  • Claudia Wells, who played Jennifer Parker in Back to the Future (1985), gave her role up to Elisabeth Shue for Back to the Future Part II (1989) and Back to the Future Part III (1990) when her mother was diagnosed with cancer.

  • Universal Pictures head Sid Sheinberg did not like the title "Back to the Future", insisting that nobody would see a movie with "future" in the title. In a memo to Robert Zemeckis, he said that the title should be changed to "Spaceman From Pluto", tying in with the Marty-as-alien jokes in the film, and also suggested further changes like replacing the "I'm Darth Vader from planet Vulcan" line with "I am a spaceman from Pluto!" Sheinberg was persuaded to change his mind by a response memo from Steven Spielberg, which thanked him for sending a wonderful "joke memo", and that everyone got a kick out of it. Sheinberg, too proud to admit he was serious, gave in to letting the film retain its title.


Original Legacy Score: 9.75

New Legacy Score: 7.25


Original Impact/Significance Score: 9.17

New Impact/Significance Score: 8.25


Original Novelty Score: 8

New Novelty Score: 8.5


Original Classicness Score: 7.5

New Classicness Score: 4.75


Original Rewatchability Score: 9.625

New Rewatchability Score: 7


Original Audience Score: 9.4 (94% RT)

New Audience Score: 9.45 (95% Google, 94% RT)


Original Total Score: 53.45

New Total Score: 45.2


In Memorium:

  • Charlie Robinson: 75, American actor (Night Court, Sugar Hill, The Black Gestapo), complications from cancer.

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